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Knox College announces 2017 Honorary Degree Recipients

At its 173rd Convocation on May 10, 2017, Knox College will confer the degree Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) upon the Rev. Dr. John Crosbie Carr, the Rev. Karen Horst, and the Rev. Dr. Harold G. Wells. The Board of Governors has selected these three individuals based on their creative and effective church leadership and their scholarly contributions to the Church and academic community.


Rev. Dr. John Crosbie Carr

The Rev. Dr. John Crosbie Carr is a well-respected professor and counselor, a lifelong learner who is passionate about understanding and helping others to understand. Pastoral care and counseling have been his life’s work.

After ordination and a decade of service as a PCC minister, Dr. Carr moved from congregational ministry into pastoral counseling and psychotherapy – both as a practitioner and as an academic. He has taught courses on counseling and psychotherapy both locally (St. Stephen’s College, Alberta; Loma Linda, Canadian Ext.) and internationally (South India) and has given numerous presentations and workshops. In addition to a book, The Organization and Administration of Pastoral Counseling Centers, he has published extensively through journal and magazine articles. In 2014, the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care presented him with an Award of Excellence in Pastoral Counselling and Pastoral Counselling Education. Rev. Dr. Carr also served as President of the Board of Managers of the Journal of Pastoral Care Publications, Inc.

A faithful and effective pastoral leader, Dr. Carr has demonstrated creative leadership at all levels of church life, in addition to scholarly contributions to both the academic community and the life of the church. He has volunteered extensively in his home congregation (Dayspring Presbyterian Church, Edmonton, Alta.), including as Minister-in-Association; in the Presbytery of Edmonton-Lakeland; and in the Synod of Alberta and the Northwest.

Dr. Carr holds a Certificate in Theology and Bachelor of Divinity (Knox College), Master of Theology (Princeton Theological Seminary), and Doctor of Philosophy (Northwestern University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary).

Dr. Carr has a special sense of care for those who are hurting, those struggling with relationships, poverty, and mental health. He supports humanitarian relief, human rights, economic empowerment, and educational development.


Rev. Karen Horst

The Rev. Karen Horst is known for her creativity, energy, and compassion. Her keen intuition and innovative leadership have served every level of church life. Since 2009, she has been Senior Minister at St. Andrew’s (Orillia).

Karen Horst has demonstrated long-term commitments to both local and international concerns, and also to Christian Education at all levels. She has served on the London Food Bank Board of Directors, convened the Presbyterian World Service & Development Agency, led exposure tours for international development, led two National Presbyterian Women’s Gatherings, and served on the Committee for Theological Education, among other involvements.

Karen Horst meets challenges with grace, love, and humour, and she strives for excellence in ministry. In addition to her role as Senior Minister, she served as the Moderator of the 141st General Assembly, as chaplain at Lakehead University (Orillia Campus), and as an occasional sessional lecturer in Christian Education at Knox and Ewart Colleges.
Karen Horst holds a Bachelor of Arts (University of Toronto), Master of Divinity and Master of Religious Education (McMaster Divinity College – top student/gold medalist), and Diploma in Christian Education (Ewart College). She later chaired the committee to combine Ewart and Knox Colleges. As an educational consultant and curriculum designer and writer, she produced a variety of PCC and ecumenical resources. She has also spoken, led, and participated in numerous committees at the presbytery and synod levels.


Rev. Dr. Harold G. Wells

The Rev. Dr. Harold G. Wells has served the Church and society as minister, teacher, academic, and prolific writer. Dr. Wells is Professor Emeritus at Emmanuel College (Victoria University, University of Toronto).

Professor Wells’s effective congregational ministry (Sudbury and Burlington) provided a firm foundation for his scholarly contributions to the life of the church. He has published six books, eleven chapters in books, and seventeen peer-reviewed articles – in addition to dozens of popular articles and reviews – and given many academic and public lectures and workshops.

As an instructor, Professor Wells was a kind and gentle mentor for students from diverse backgrounds. He served on the faculty of St. Paul’s College (University of Waterloo), McGill University (Montreal), Morija Theological Seminary (Lesotho), National University of Lesotho, and Emmanuel College (Toronto).

His education work in Lesotho also resulted in fruitful mission partnerships there, including continuing education for pastors of the Lesotho Evangelical Church and service on the editorial board of the Journal of Theology of Southern Africa. He was actively involved with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

Professor Wells has written various theological statements and responses for the United Church of Canada, including on apartheid in South Africa. He has also been active in writing about eco-theology and Christian churches’ ecological responsibility. In his retirement, Professor Wells has advocated for environmental responsibility and accountability.

Professor Wells holds a Bachelor of Arts (McMaster University, Hamilton), Bachelor of Divinity (Emmanuel College, Toronto), Master of Theology (New College, University of Edinburgh), and Doctor of Philosophy (McGill University, Montreal).